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Signal Integrity

and Power
Integrity
(with teacher’s notes)
Abhijit Mahajan MS(EE)
abhijitmahajan@hotmail.com
Topics
 Broad definitions of signal and power
integrity
 Evolution of signal integrity problems
 Areas in signal integrity research
 What to watch out for?
Definitions
 Signal: A detectable physical
quantity or impulse (as a voltage,
current, or magnetic field strength)
by which messages or information
can be transmitted
 Integrity: an unimpaired condition
Definition of Signal
Integrity
 Signal-Integrity:
 The art and science for accomplishing the
delivery of signals from source to the
destination in an unimpaired condition

 Power Integrity
 The art and science for accomplishing the
delivery of power(and ground reference) to the
circuit in an unimpaired condition
Evolution of Signal Integrity
Problems
+V

0V
0 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 1

This is how most young electrical


engineers view a digital signal
Conceptually it is correct but too
idealistic.
What’s wrong here?
wer: Idealistic edges. All real physical quantities take a finite time to c
e it is called rise time and fall time.
Evolution of Signal Integrity
Problem
+3.3V

0V
0 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 1

This is how experienced electrical


engineers view a digital signal
What has changed here?
It is better and is valid for a range
of frequencies but after that it falls
apart.
Evolution of Signal Integrity
Problem
+3.3V

0V
0 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 1

This is how signal integrity


engineers view a digital signal
What has changed here?
It looks much more like the signals
we find in circuits today.
What do you observe here?
What is the cause?
 High frequencies and fast edge rates
 Lumped circuit theory only holds good only for
frequencies where the component and circuit sizes
are smaller than ¼ of the smallest wavelength
 Rough estimate:
 c=fxλ
 At c= 3x10^8 m/sec* (See notes) assuming you have
a circuit size of 25cm length, λ min would be 100 cm.
 fmax = 300 MHz (sinusoid)
 For digital it translates to around 60MHz * (assuming
around 5 multiples of base frequency)
 This multiple factor is determined by edge rise/fall times
 Faster the edge higher the frequency content.
What are the obvious
solutions?
 Lumped circuit theory is simple and easy
 One would like things to be simple and easy
 Best way
 Reduce circuit sizes (to lower λ min)
 Reduce Edge Rise times

 Other option of lowering frequency is quite


unlikely due to performance limitations
Transmission Line
 When a circuit is not lumped it is -----------

 Normal wires become transmission


lines
 These wires have delay and loss
 Components start behaving
differently
 Capacitor can become inductive and
inductor can become capacitive
 Modeling circuits is really tricky and
complex
Areas of Research
 Materials
 Lower loss, better performance w.r.t frequency
 IO Buffer technologies
 Slower edge rates
 PCB routing and Connectors
 Manual routing of critical signals
 Measurement of Performance
 High Bandwidth Oscilloscopes (>6GHz) probing
techniques
What to watch out for?
 Remember: Frequency and circuit size
interplay
 Effects like
 Cross-talk -- (Define?)
 Reflection

 Power supply droop

 Ground bounce

 Parasitic inductances and capacitances

 Frequency dependent losses


Questions?
Thank You!